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Want to file your tax returns by yourself? Here’s how you can do it online

If your total income in the preceding year has exceeded the maximum permissible taxable limits, then Under Section 139(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, you must compulsorily file your income tax returns (ITR) by 31st July 2017. Most people prefer to hire individual Chartered Accountants or CA firms to handle their tax filing processes. However, you can file them online by yourself.

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Who can file ITR online?

Before you start e-filing income tax returns, you must first check to see if you are eligible to file taxes. You should file your income tax returns if:

  • You have assessed a total income of Rs. 2.5 Lakhs or more. For those over 60 years the limit is increased to 3 lakhs, while for those over 80 years it is 5 lakhs.
  • You have assets outside India and are an Indian Individual/HUF resident
  • You operate as a company
  • You are required to file returns Under Section 139 (4B) (ITR 7)
  • Have claimed relief Under Section 90 or 90A or are eligible for deductions u/s 91, etc.

E-filing your income tax returns

To start e-filing your income tax returns, you must first register yourself on IncomeTaxIndiaeFiling.gov.in. An important thing to remember at this time is to use your Permanent Account Number (PAN) as your login/user ID. Also, check the details on Form 26AS or tax credit statement, which provides details of TDS on salary, property and other investments. Form 26AS can be downloaded from the TRACES website or through Net Banking facility from authorised banks. The Tax Deducted at Source (TDS), as per Form 16, should match the figures given in Form 26AS.

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Once you have checked these details, the following steps will help you file your tax returns online.

  • Select the assessment financial year after clicking on the tab for ‘income tax return forms’.

  • Download the ITR form that’s appropriate for your level of exempted income. For instance, the ITR-2 form will be applicable, if your exempt income is over Rs. 5,00,000.
  • Use Form 16 to fill up the requisite form in the downloaded return preparation software/ Excel utility.
  • The 'calculate tax' tab will help you calculate your payable tax.
  • Fill up all the necessary challan details and pay tax online as applicable.
  • Once the form is filled up, click the ‘validate’ tab to confirm all your details.
  • When you have completed this procedure, generate the XML file and save it on your computer. On the website’s panel, click the ‘upload return’ tab and upload the XML file. 

If you have a digital signature, sign the file digitally when asked to do so, or select ‘No’ to skip this step.

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After completing these steps, the ITR Verification (ITR-V) or acknowledgement form will be generated. You need to download, print and sign it in blue ink. Your last step is to mail the hard copy of the form to the Income-Tax Department-CPC, within 120 days of successful e-filing of income tax returns.

You can also visit the IncomeTaxIndiaeFiling.gov.in website for more information and the Income Tax Department address.

The website gives you an option to link your Aadhar Card number to your PAN Card number. Once this is done, you need not send a signed hard copy to the Income-Tax Department-CPC.